Since I’ve started making a life for myself, I’ve been living gluten free. Why? Here’s some links that can explain things better than I can:
So…here’s the thing: before I started off on my own, I ate a lot of junk food and I didn’t exercise. When I moved, my sister allowed me to stay with her, and she became my coach for a better life. In addition to weight loss, she gave me these links as reasons to live gluten free and live out (most of) the paleo diet.
No, I do not have celiac disease. Yes, I have autism and PCOS. In addition, I’m also at risk for diabetes. The solution was simple and obvious: eat healthier and start exercising.
Living it, though? Harder than it sounds!
Link #1 shows why wheat (and gluten) is bad…and it’s in a lot of the things I like. Cake, pancakes, bread, cereal, pasta, noodles, cookies, biscuits, crackers, french toast…just thinking, looking, or smelling these things make you want them, but you can’t. They’re delicious, yet bad! How can you live life without eating these delicious foods?!
In the end, it’s all about willpower. I have to remind myself why I’m doing this: to lose weight, to lose the fat in areas that show I’m female (hips, butt), so I can feel better overall, and to help with the symptoms of PCOS. The autism thing, yes, is still under research and debate, but having another reason helps out.
To make sure I stay gluten free, I’ve also done recipe modifying, which will be covered in the “Cooking Experiments” blogs. Swap out noodles for vegetable noodles, wheat flour with tapioca or other alternative flours, omit gluten ingredients altogether, etc. At times they work, at times they don’t, but that’s for another blog. Back to the willpower point…
But willpower only lasts for so long, and trying to maintain it for long periods of time can be taxing on the mind.
As such, once a week, I allow myself a little “cheat”. I can have one little bad item as a reward for eating healthy and exercising. It could be an item with gluten or something generally unhealthy, like fries or ice cream. One item or meal, for that one day, for that one week.
Of course, there are days when my willpower breaks…especially when there’s free food at the workplace lounge or at parties.
I eat more cake than necessary, I slip in a piece of candy (no, maybe two), I devour KFC biscuits and chicken slathered with gravy and honey and butter…and then the guilt comes in. I messed up (to put it G-rated; this post is for everyone to read). My conscience beats my head with a battered old umbrella. I run to the gym to work off those unwelcome calories, sugars, and bad fats. I realize that I am human, that I can’t be perfect all the time, that all I can do is move on and do better. My willpower is temporarily restored and builds up as I receive reassurance from myself and my family.
Months passed, and I’m still living gluten free, as well as mostly paleo. Before I moved away in May 2016, I was 155 pounds, overweight for someone who is biologically female and is 5′ exact. As of October 2016, I weigh 118 pounds, and still plan on losing more weight. I feel like I have more energy and there are days where I feel great and think “Alright, let’s tackle the day!” Also, this may be just a coincidence, but I also haven’t been sick since I’ve started. Granted, this is with exercise included, which I’ll talk about in another blog.
So, the cliff notes version: eating gluten free is hard, but worth it in the end*.
*with exercise and proper nutrition.